Call for Nominations for the 2014 Washington PR Woman of the Year Award
Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) invites you to nominate yourself or another female public relations professional for consideration of the 2014 Washington PR Woman of the Year award. The award will be presented at WWPR’s 25th annual Washington PR Woman of the Year Award Luncheon, to be held at the Fairmont Hotel on Friday, November 14, 2014 from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m.
The PR Woman of the Year Award Luncheon began in 1990 and has honored the most talented women in the public relations profession. The event celebrates the achievements of the honorees and announces the winner. View the list of WWPR’s previous PR Woman of the Year winners and nominee qualifications here.
Nomination and supporting materials must be received no later than midnight on Friday, September 12, 2014.  Entries must include a letter (two-page limit) supporting your nomination and a resume (two-page limit).  Email your information to Woman of the Year Co-Chairs, Mara Vandlik and Mary LoJacono at


Will You Be WWPR’s Next Pro Bono Client?
The Washington DC metro area (DC/MD/VA) is home to hundreds of nonprofit organizations doing good works for communities in need.  WWPR is always excited to engage with the nonprofit community and what better way to do that than through our Pro Bono Client Request for Applications. 


Alicia Horton, Executive Director of Thrive DC, WWPR’s Pro Bono client for 2012 and 2013, commented, “Thrive DC has been providing services to the homeless community for over 35 years.  We have been doing the work for a long time, but it wasn’t until the WWPR partnership that Thrive DC began, in earnest, the work of strategically communicating our mission and work to effectively increase our visibility and expand our audience.  WWPR offered invaluable support in many, many ways from the development of a comprehensive communications strategy, to help with the development a beautiful new website.  WWPR has enhanced our growth by lending their expertise, their time, and their passion to our work.”




WWPR Members Update Your Profile; Open House & Wine Tasting 8/27
Update Your WWPR Member Profile! 


Have you logged into your WWPR member profile lately?  Our exclusive, members-only database is a great networking tool and we’ve added some new features to help you better connect with fellow members.  You can upload a profile photo, share your LinkedIn profile and other relevant links, and tell others about your communications experience and interests.  Log in at today to make sure your profile is up-to-date.


Not yet a member?  Join today to start taking advantage of our fantastic member benefits, including free professional development events and discounts on tickets to our signature events!


WWPR Open House & Wine Tasting – August 27
Whether you have been a member of WWPR for years, have just joined or have been thinking about signing up, we invite you to join us for an Open House & Wine Tasting on August 27, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Edelman’s offices in Washington, D.C. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from WWPR Board Members, learn more about the organization and how you can get involved, and connect with fellow members and prospective members who are excelling in our local communications industry.  Register today to toast the last days of summer and make exciting connections as we head into the fall.


Cost: Free to WWPR members and non-members


WWPR’s Annual Speed Networking Event 9/4; Brown Bag Panel Discussion: Is the Press Release Dead? 9/30
Jumpstart the fall season by attending WWPR’s annual Speed Networking event on Thursday, September 4 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at FleishmanHillard, 1615 L St., NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC. Like speed-dating for professionals, the format of this program is designed to accelerate the development of business contacts. Be sure to bring a big stack of business cards and your elevator speech for this fast-paced, face-to-face networking event.
Cost: $15 for WWPR and PRSA members; $25 for non-members. Space is limited so  register now! 

Beekeeper Group, 1331 G St., NW, Washington, DC.  Hear industry experts debate whether the role of the press release has changed for PR professionals, if it’s still a viable tool in today’s 24-hour news cycle, if social media has replaced it, and if it has advantages that newer alternatives don’t offer.

Cost: Free to WWPR and PRSA members; $20 for non-members. Register today to join the conversation.


WWPR July Brown Bag Panel Discussion Recap: “The Best and Worst Advice I Ever Received”
by Neveah Bradshaw, Professional Development Committee Member 


On Thursday, July 10th, 2014 the National Education Association and the Professional Development Committee welcomed about 50 guests for an honest discussion of career advice.  WWPR President, Lauren Smith Dyer kicked off the session with a warm welcome to our moderator, Leila McDowell, Washington correspondent and reporter for Arise TV and NBC’s “The Grio”.  Leila had the pleasure of introducing our extraordinary panelists, all of whom have been PR Woman of the Year Award honorees:

  • Pam Jenkins, President, Powell Tate
  • Stephenie Fu, Principal, SLF Strategies, LLC
  • Maria Rodriguez, Founder and President, Vanguard Communications




PR in Politics: Journalists are Killing Information?
The Role of Public Relations in Politics is a monthly column written by WWPR member Margaret Mulvihill, examining the role of PR in politics. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations

Journalists Are Killing Information?


An allegation is floating around out there in the twitter sphere.  Journalists are killing information.  That is a serious charge by any standard.  Those of us who practice in the public relations community, and especially those of us who cover politics from within the public relations community, should be rightly offended.  We are.


On behalf of my ‘public relations in politics’ community, I firmly reject that allegation.  Public relations professionals who cover politics do so honestly.  Do we withhold information?  Do we spin information?  There are at least three responses to that question. No, yes and the most relevant of all — it depends on what constitutes ‘information’.




The B Hive: 3 Marketing Tactics to Bring Your PR Strategy to the Next Level
The B Hive is a monthly column written by WWPR member Beth Stewart.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations

Over three years ago, I stumbled into the world of inbound marketing for a sales firm after a series of public relations internships.  What I’ve found more and more each day is the overlapping of tactics from each field: PR and marketing.  The shift into leveraging marketing tactics in PR is certainly no happenstance.  Chalk it up to the “everybody is a publisher”moment we’re experiencing.  According to an article I read in The Next Web, “social media and the ability to go directly to the source,” made information readily available to reporters thus changing the way PR practitioners reached their audience.  Inbound marketing grew in appeal as it’s all about making it so your audience finds your brand instead of the other way around.




Member Spotlight
This month’s Member Spotlight interview features WWPR Member and Emerging Leaders Awards honoree Danielle Hagen, VP of Communications at Nahigian Strategies.  

Q: How did you get started in communications?

A: Like many communications professionals, I was interested in pursuing a career in journalism because I loved how the media could capture a great story and educate a captive audience. But my dreams of being a journalist shifted after taking my first communications class in college. I was enamored at how our words could shape every aspect of our reality – from professional to interpersonal communications. From that moment on, I was hooked. I began my career in my hometown of Cincinnati, working at a public relations firm and also teaching at the University of Cincinnati. I had the fortunate opportunity early in my career to work on a wide array of communications from corporate branding and media relations to crisis communications and digital media which gave me a toolbox of skills that I still use everyday in my current position. Every project, every situation is an opportunity to grow and expand your knowledge, which is one of the reasons I love PR so much. It’s an ever-changing world where I get to learn everyday.

Q: What inspired you to get involved with WWPR?

A: There are so many wonderful practitioners that are members of WWPR, including mentors that have been so influential on my career in D.C. A friend of mine encouraged me to attend a WWPR lunch event and I was not only blown away at the network of wonderful communications professionals that attended but also the quality of the program where we actually walked away with information we can use in our jobs. After that event, I wanted to become a member of this great organization that coalesced so many impressive members of our profession and enhanced our growth.

Q: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment professionally?

A: There are a lot of accomplishments that I’m proud of – from winning the first Congressional campaign I ever worked on to being tapped to be the Deputy Communications Director for a presidential candidate in the 2012 election. But the biggest accomplishment for me was taking my dream job in Washington, DC. While that may not seem like significant accomplishment, it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. I moved away from my family and left my personal life behind to pursue a dream. Fast forward four years later – I’ve never regretted a single moment and can’t wait to see what the future will hold.


Articles of Interest


Upcoming Events

If you have a suggestion for a future program topic, please contact the Professional Development Committee at



– Public Relations Associate, Nahigian Strategies

– Senior Public Relations Manager, Nahigian Strategies

– Assistant Producer, Green Buzz Agency

– Account Director, PAC Programs, SevenTwenty Strategies

– Account Drector, SevenTwenty Strategies

– Director of Marketing, SevenTwenty Strategies

– Communications and Marketing Coordinator, National School Transportation Association

– Coordinator (Publicity and Promotions), Allied Integrated Marketing

– Communications Intern, Melanoma Research Foundation




July New Members 


Jessica Bates Byte Back
Shaina Bindeman Gepetto Catering, Inc.
Jill Braunstein National Academy of Social Insurance
Alexandra Dickinson Beekeeoer Group
Denise Douglas Prince George’s TV
Francesca Ernst Widmeyer Communications
Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd NAIMA
Janae Hinson Widmeyer Communications
Amanda Kimball Society for Neuroscience
Hayley McConnell Personal Care Products Council
Leah-Michelle Nebbia MSLGROUP
Michelle Nguyen Hey Love Designs
Laura Paredes ExxonMobil
Allison Peck Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries
Amanda Ratner Abel Communications
Ericka Reyes Porter Novelli
Carrie Sessine Grace PR LLC
Ginny Smith Clemenko Grocery Manufacturers Association
Megan Smith US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
NaTasha Stokes-Frazier


July Renewals


Neveah Bradshaw BLR Holdings Inc.
Linda Butcher Korea Economic Institute of America
Nell Callahan SKDKnickerbocker
Erin Donovan Arnold & Porter LLP
Erin Flior LEVICK
Kelsey Flora National Geographic Society
Allyson Funk PhRMA
Laura Hornbuckle Edelman
Benjamin Long Travaille Executive Search
Cynthia Martinez ZGS Communications
Issara Pimpawathin Arnold & Porter LLP
Jaclyn Randolph Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Kaitlin Sanderson The Humane Society of the United States
Alison Schiffli Burson-Marsteller
Alicia Sellitti ADS Communications
Lauren Smith Dyer Melanoma Research Foundation
Melissa Thompson Society for Neuroscience
Ruihua Zhang Georgetown University MPS PR/CC


Sponsor Spotlight







American University, School of Communication (AU SOC), Professional Graduate Program in Strategic Communication


Yes, we teach professional skills at AU SOC. But even more important is that we teach our students how to think. We teach them to think strategically. We teach how to target an audience, how to create a compelling message, how to write persuasively, how to advocate in a changing world of new media and cutting edge technology. The ability to communicate this way – to communicate strategically – is what our Strategic Communication program is all about.


Washington is our communications laboratory. It’s the PR and media capital of the world. And as the longest standing program in the area, it has deep roots throughout the city. Speechwriters and politicians come to class as guest speakers. Students take on nonprofit clients for their coursework. PR firms, international organizations, health care companies, congressional offices, advocacy groups – all welcome our students as interns.


As the only ACEJMC-accredited Strategic Communication program in the Washington, DC area, our goal is to educate students not only in the most recent trends but in the type of thinking that will set them apart from their peers. Our alumni include top speechwriters, press secretaries, media strategists, crisis communicators, Hollywood agents, sports marketers, public diplomacy experts, nonprofit leaders, advertising executives, and public relations professionals. Our graduates run the world.